Authorities’ inaction worrying residents more than cracks

Nim Dorji  | Trongsa

Kuengarabten is not alone to have suffered cracks to homes and properties in Trongsa as a result of earth sinking.

A nunnery in Samcholing neighbouring Kuengarabten under Drakteng Gewog has suffered similar damages.

Cracks were found on the ground floor walls of Katacholing nunnery in Samcholing. 

Lekimo, who looks after the nunnery, said she reported to the gewog administration after the cracks appeared on the lhakhang about three months ago.

Sometime before the cracks appeared last year, the nunnery had repaired the drain in front of the lhakhang that cracked and sunk.

“We did not report to the authorities then, but with many houses reporting about similar cracks, she decided to report when the lhakhang,” she said.

The nunnery is hoping the dzongkhag administration would send an inspection team to assess the damages.

Meanwhile, the cracks on structures of Kuengarabten nunnery have increased and also spread to the kitchen.

The hostel building that suffered major cracks is vacated and all the nuns have been shifted to another building.

 Drakteng Mangmi Karma Dorji said that they recently visited the site and marked the area to observe if there is any change.

Few days ago the gewog administration submitted a letter to the dzongkhag requesting to visit the site as the nunnery and one of the houses are in a critical situation.

The residents of Kuengarabten, who observed that long cracks in earth between the palace and the nunnery, are worried with the cracks found on the walls that seem to be worsening.

As no one has turned up to inspect the damages, residents are also worried that there would not be any intervention.

A landlord, who does not want to be named, said that he is worried that if the house above the road collapses, it would affect his house.

“Parts of my house has cracked and with it being next to the most critical damaged house, the tenants are worried and talking to vacating,” he said.

“If nothing is done, we may have to vacate the house and go back to the village.”

Residents said that the authorities need to hasten whatever needs to be done.

According to villagers, some more houses are yet to report the damages their houses have sustained.

Villagers had earlier suspected Mangdechhu hydroelectric plant’s tunnel that passes under the village of causing the damages.

However, MHPA officials recently briefed the villagers on the outcome of its investigation report and said it was not responsible for the cracks.

The villagers were told that MHPA would provide the necessary help for ratification.

“We’re told that the cracks formed due to poor foundation and concrete works. But it has been three decades since its construction, and nothing had happen until now. How come the cracks formed now,” a landlord said.

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